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Distillique - Legislation

Articles Relating to Spirit Legislation by Distillique

Articles in this section covers the Legislation applicable to Home and Commercial Distillers - included here is Commentary, Procedures, Advice and Warnings, as well as updates on proposed changes to South African Liquor Laws.

Is Home Distilling Legal in South Africa?

Until Distillique came along, and actually started educating South Africans about LEGAL Home Distilling, the common perception was that we CANNOT Legally Distill at home. Distillique was the first company to start informing people that YES, you can Legally Distill at Home, and this is how you do it. The founding principle of Distillique was Hobby and Home Distilling, and from there we ventured into the arena of Commercial or Craft Distilling.

Can I start a Commercial Craft Distillery?

Starting a Commercial Craft Distillery in South Africa is possible, it is viable, it is profitable, and it is feasible. But one thing it is NOT, is easy. There are many different laws, governmental departments, organizations, and people involved, and the processes differ a LOT from Province to Province, and even sometimes from Municipality to Municipality.

Our aim with articles in this section is to help new entrants into the Commercial Craft Distilling Industry to navigate these challenges, and be able to start up quickly and efficiently, with the least possible number of mistakes or wasted time, effort and money.

  • Want to Import Distilling Equipment? Do your Homework!

    Want to Import Distilling Equipment? Do your Homework!

    If you would like to import distillation equipment yourself, please make sure you do your homework well! Is it Cheaper to Import a Still myself? A client recently claimed that: "I can import it myself at much less than what you're selling it!". Off-course this was a big concern for us and we did some investigation. The claim presented seemed to be factually correct ...or...
  • Is Glitter and Colorants Legal in Gin?

    Is Glitter and Colorants Legal in Gin?

    PLEASE NOTE: This article is written in the context of South African Law. Clients from other countries must please review their local legislation.     Many times, inspiration for an article comes from questions posed by our Clients. Over the past two days we received three inquiries that were closely related, hence this article.     The most recent inquiry, received via Email this...
  • Health Warnings on Spirit Labels

    Health Warnings on Spirit Labels

    If you know what you are looking for, it can be quite scary when walking through a Liquor Store Aisle and seeing all the illegal products on the shelves - products that can be deemed illegal just by mistakes on the labels.   Now many of these products are blatantly illegal - and the price is already a give-away (selling below Excise Tax for...
  • Bottles and Bottling - What do I need to keep in mind?

    Bottles and Bottling - What do I need to keep in mind?

    Finding the right way to bottle your product is as important as finding the right way to make your product. Many Craft Distillers make some avoidable mistakes in their initial setup, that can lead to them having to change their packaging, capping their growth potential, or spending a lot more on bottling and packaging than they should.      A couple of factors need...
  • American Whisky in South Africa - Legal or not?

    American Whisky in South Africa - Legal or not?

    As the Craft Spirit Market grows, and South African consumers are being exposed to more new and interesting products and brands - the opportunities for exports to South Africa from foreign Spirit Manufacturers have grown. We have seen this with imported Gins, obviously, and more recently a great number of imported Rums, but what has gone a little unnoticed is the large influx of...
  • How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 3: Record Keeping

    How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 3: Record Keeping

    PLEASE NOTE: This is the third Article of Three, dealing with the Process of Legal Home Distilling. Please read all three Articles for a full idea on how it works.     Probably the most common question we get from clients visiting our store: Is it Legal to Distill at Home? This is followed closely by the second most common question: How do I...
  • How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 2: Registration

    How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 2: Registration

    PLEASE NOTE: This is the second Article of Three, dealing with the Process of Legal Home Distilling. Please read all three Articles for a full idea on how it works.    Probably the most common question we get from clients visiting our store: Is it Legal to Distill at Home? This is followed closely by the second most common question: How do I Register...
  • How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 1: Stills

    How do I Legally Distill at Home in South Africa? - Part 1: Stills

    PLEASE NOTE: This is the first Article of Three, dealing with the Process of Legal Home Distilling. Please read all three Articles for a full idea on how it works.     Probably the most common question we get from clients visiting our store: Is it Legal to Distill at Home? This is followed closely by the second most common question: How do I...
  • As a Craft Distillery, how do I work with the Department of Agriculture?

    As a Craft Distillery, how do I work with the Department of Agriculture?

    The Department of Agriculture’s Liquor Division is probably them most unappreciated and undervalued group of Government Employees in the country. Yes, a lot of people have bad things to say about them, and they get blamed for not allowing us as Crafters to do what we want, and to innovate and to be daring, but they have a thankless job. They are entrusted to...
  • What do I need to Register for with SARS as a Craft Distillery?

    What do I need to Register for with SARS as a Craft Distillery?

    SARS, or the South African Revenue Service, is currently the biggest challenge that faces Craft Distillers and Entrepreneurs in South Africa. There are various reasons why this is the case. Most people will point fingers and blame ineptness, laziness, corruption, etc. In my personal capacity however, I do not think that it is fair to paint all SARS employees with the same brush. There...
  • How do I get a License for a Craft Distillery in South Africa?

    How do I get a License for a Craft Distillery in South Africa?

        Getting a License for a Craft Distillery in South Africa is not easy, it is not fun, and it is not quick … but it can be done. The aim of this article is to give you an indication of the steps that need to be followed, the different organizations you will be dealing with, and everything else you need to do...
  • Innovating with Whisky in South Africa

    Innovating with Whisky in South Africa

    In a previous Article we looked at Whisky Legislation in South Africa, specifically the challenges it poses, and the restrictions we face. A question I often get from our Clients and Trainees is: “Within the laws and regulations, can I innovate with Whisky in South Africa, and how do I do that.” The answer to this question is YES you can, and in several...
  • The Challenge of Craft Whisky in South Africa

    The Challenge of Craft Whisky in South Africa

    Craft Gin has taken the world by storm, with literally hundreds of new brands, spirit producers and distillers flooding the markets of Europe, Africa, the Far East and Australasia. But this “craze” is nowhere near as big in the United States. Yes, there are Craft Gins produced and consumed in the USA, and yes there are some big brands coming out from those Northern...
  • Micro Liquor Manufacturing Licenses - What to watch out for

    Micro Liquor Manufacturing Licenses - What to watch out for

    For some time now the whole South African Liquor License Industry has been chaotic. What issues have Distillers experienced with Liquor License Applications? If it’s not a question of waiting for inspectors (up to 7 months), then you have to deal with inspectors that don’t know what they are doing, or people blatantly holding you for ransom for bribes, or inspectors that have no...
  • Distillery Waste Management Plan Template

    Distillery Waste Management Plan Template

    Note: Due to the limited knowledge of most officials (outside the Western Cape) involved in the granting of Micro Liquor Manufacturing Licenses, we tried to keep the wording of the template below as simple as possible. Distilling terms such as ""stillage"" has deliberately been omitted - simply because not all officials are familiar with them. Micro Liquor Manufacturing Facility for Spirits - Waste Management...
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